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UNIT 3 MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

AND PROCESSES
Objectives
The objectives of this unit are to enable you:
• to develop familiarity with various types of systems and processes involved in
managing an organisation
• to understand the concept of a system and learn what the management
information system is
• to develop an understanding about the necessity of each managerial process and
its logical sequencing in relation to the other processes
• to identify the major elements of each process
Structure
3.1 The Systems Concept
3.2 Management Information System
3.3 Management Processes
3.4 Planning
3.5 Controlling
3.6 Organising
3.7 Motivating and Leading
3.8 Decision-making
3.9 Summary
3.10 Key Words
3.11 Further Readings
Having read the first two units, you know the various responsibilities and tasks
expected of you as a manager. Now you have to get down to the nitty-gritty of
actually performing all these tasks and discharging your responsibilities. For this you
must understand the various systems and processes involved in managing. It does not
matter whether you manage a private company, a public sector company, or even a
non-commercial organisation. The essentials of managing remain the same.

In this unit we began by introducing the systems concept and see how it can be
applied to organisations. We then move to the all important concept of management
information systems and examine it in detail. Later on we shall take up for discussion
the management processes of planning, controlling, organising, motivating, leading
and decision-making.

3.1 THE SYSTEMS CONCEPT


Every practising manager knows from experience that whatever actions and decisions
he takes, in any particular area of activity, have results which extend well beyond that
specific activity. The impact of decisions in some cases affect the whole organisation
and even external environment. A simple decision to throw out an inefficient, lazy
worker can trigger off union activity which can, in extreme situations, even result in
strike. The situation may become so hot that the union forces the neighbouring units
also to join the strike. Thus when a manager takes a decision he never views its
impact in isolation but tries to understand and anticipate its repercussions on the
entire organisation and the environment. The manager
understands that his organisation is a totality of many, inter-related, inter-dependent
parts, put together for achieving the organisational objectives. This in a nutshell is the
very essence of the systems concept.
A system is defined as a sum total of individuals but inter-related parts (sub-systems),
and are put together according to a specific scheme or plan, to achieve the pre-stated
objectives. 31
Role of a Manager A system has the following components:
1 A number of parts of sub-systems which when put together in a specific manner
form a whole system
2 Boundaries within which it exists
3 A specific goal or goals. This goal is expressed in terms of an output which is
achieved by receiving input and processing it to form the output
4 Close inter-relationship and inter-dependency amongst the various sub-systems
The inter-relationship of the sub-systems can be defined in terms of:
• The flows which exist among them, such as flow of information, money,
materials, etc. The most important of these is the information flow which we
shall discuss in the next section.
• The structure within which they relate to each other. This structure may be
physical, geographic or organisational and shall be dealt with in the section entitled
`organising'.
• The procedures by which the sub-systems relate to one another. By procedures
we mean those planned activities which affect the performance of the entire
system. In the context of an organisation, this refers to planning and we shall
discuss these under the heading `planning'.
• The feedback and the control process and mechanisms which exist to
ensure that the system is moving towards its desired objectives. In this
unit, we have dealt with this in the section on controlling.
A system can be biological (human body), physical (machine) or social (commercial
organisations, voluntary bodies, etc.). Social systems are man-made systems and the
relationships of the sub-systems is the most critical element. Further, since social
systems involve human beings, their beliefs, values, attitudes and perceptions have an
important bearing on the working of the system. This aspect is dealt with in the section
on motivating and leading.
A system can be closed or open. A closed system is self-sufficient and self-regulatory
and has no interaction with the environment in which it exists (see Figure I). The
feedback from the output triggers off a control mechanism which then regulates the
input to bring back the output to the desired level.
An open system is one which interacts with the environment in which it exists. Figure
II illustrates an open system. All living, biological and social systems are examples of
open systems. An organisation is an open system and its sub-systems are its various
divisions and departments. But at the same time, it is a sub-system of the
environmental system within which it operates. The environment itself consists of
social, economic, political and legal sub-systems (see Figure III).
The importance of the systems concept to the manager is that it helps him to identify
the critical sub-systems in his organisation and their inter-relationships with each other
and the environment.
A system is always seeking an equilibrium state, that is, where all the sub-systems are
at the optimum level, in tune with and at rest with each other, and the desired output
is being achieved. In an open system, this level of equilibrium is never static but is
always dynamic. This is because the environment is never static, it is always changing
and since the open system is all the time interacting with environment, what may
have been an equilibrium level today will not be so tomorrow. It is the concern of the
manager to seek this equilibrium level.
Figure I: A Closed System

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Figure II : An Open Systems
Management System and Processes

Figure III : A Firm & Its Environment

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Role of a Manager Activity A
Visualise your organisation as a system and list the critical sub-systems within it. Note
down the various flows between these sub-systems which interlink them.
Visualise your organisation as a sub-system of the environment and describe the
important interactions between the two.
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One of the most important interactions between an organisation and the environment
is that of information. A manager who has information about the impending
government legislation which will affect his organisation can suitably modify his
decision and avoid costly mistakes. Similarly, a manager who is well informed about
his employees' activities, expectations, opinions and grievances can take corrective
action much before a crisis develops. We now turn our attention to this information
flow and see how best it can be organised from the manager's viewpoint.

3.2 MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM


Management Information System (MIS) refers to that system by which information is
collected, processed and presented to management to help it in making better
decisions. A manager makes decisions all the time and anything which helps improve
his decision-making will obviously lead to better results, and he becomes a better
manager. As we discussed in the previous section, the systems concept implies an
input, a process, and an output. In case of MIS, data is the input which is processed to
provide output in the form of information reports, summaries, etc. To be really useful
the output must aid the manager's decision-making process. If it ' does not do so, it is
not a management information system, but just an information system. An effective
MIS should be:
i) Timely : A market research report, pointing out the unacceptability of milk
sold in plastic containers in retail stores, presented to the manager after he
has already launched his product in the market is of little use. Information is
useful only when it is within the time limits of the decision.
ii) Accurate: If the information presented is inaccurate, the manager who takes
a decision based on this will invariably end up making a mistake. However, it
is not possible to have hundred per cent accurate information. But the way to
overcome this is to indicate the expected range of deviation or the level of
inaccuracy. Thus the manager acting on the basis of this information knows
the risk-he is taking.
iii) Relevant: Volumes of reports (however excellent they may be) on the export
potential of cashew nut to a manufacturer of sports goods are of no value
simply because it is outside his area of interest and activities. The manager
himself can make an important contribution in ensuring that the information
he receives is relevant to his decision-making. To do so he must provide an
answer to the question "What do I need to know"?
A manager's requirement of information depends on the level of management at
which he is operating. In any organisation there are three broad levels of management
i.e., top, middle and operating management. It is the type of decisions made by one
level that distinguishes it from the others.

The top management's concern is the entire organisation or group of organisations. At


the top, the manager needs to have information about changes in the environment
which can affect the very survival of his company. The decisions that the top
manager makes are oriented towards the future. A decision to diversify into paper
manufacturing is not a decision which a printing, company will make every now and
34 then, but when it does, it totally changes the future of the company.
Top management decisions cannot be taken in a regular, routine manner but only after Management System and Processes
a great deal of deliberation and consideration and are known as non-programmable
decisions.
The manager at the middle level is mostly concerned with acquiring and controlling the
necessarIy resources to implement the objectives laid down by the top management.
The middle level managers are concerned with decisions which are important both in
the present and future context. However, the future horizon of the operating manager's
decision is much shorter than that of the top management. The middle level manager's
is concerned with managing his own department, or activity rather than the entire
organisation. Information needed by the middle manager relates to utilisation of
resources and measurement of performance.
Managers responsible for production scheduling and customer service who perform
specific tasks, within well-defined rules and procedures, are referred to as operating
managers. The decisions these managers need to make are of a routine nature and are
encountered almost every day. Since the situations are repetitive, it is easy to specify
how the decisions are to be made. Such decisions are known as programmable
decisions. A store-keeper who orders for a new lot of packing cartons when the stock in
the store is down to just the next two days supply is an example of a programmable
decision.While designing the MIS, the different types of information required by
different managers must be kept in mind. The manager at the top needs more
information about the environment. Regarding the internal operations of the company,
the top manager is only concerned with the results as reflected in profits, sales volume,
turnover, etc. Moreover these results should be presented in a summary rather than
detailed format. The middle level manager is interested in finding out why the results
were not as per the expected plan, knowing about the deviations of the critical variables
and taking corrective action. The operating manager's concern is with details, like the
number of hours each machine operated, number of units produced per hour, etc. Most
of the internal organisational information is generated at this 'level but as it moves
upward it is reduced to a summary highlighting only the critical performance variables.
We have so far defined what we mean by the terms system and management, but
have yet to talk about information. Let us understand this with the help of an
illustration. A market research team interested in finding out the daily sales volume of
Beauty Soap in Nagpur, notes down the number of soap cakes sold from each outlet in
the city. The number of soaps sold by M/s Soaps Stores on 18 September, 1986 is a
piece of data. In a similar manner, data on sales made by each store in the city is
collected. All this data when put together is information. Data by itself does not convey
much meaning. However, when all the data is put together we know that 67 outlets in
Nagpur account for a sale of 224 soap cakes. It constitutes a meaningful piece of
information. To make it more meaningful, we may further classify the outlets by the
type of store (general merchant, super bazar, departmental store, etc.), geographical
location or volume of sale. From this same data we may generate a daily sales report
for the marketing department and one for the accounts department showing the
outstanding amount against each store.
Thus we see that only when data is put together in a meaningful form does it
constitute information. Further, the same data can be used for generating multiple
reports for use by different individuals and departments.
In designing an effective MIS, the manager must understand the nature and flow of
information. Information regarding government policy, legislation, competition, etc. is
generated in the environment but is collected and used within the organisation.
Similarly, the firm or organisation may send out information to the environment in the
form of annual reports, company balance sheets, press-releases. Besides this, the
company managers and employees are also information carriers. Within an
organisation, information may flow from operating level towards top management level
(bottom to top) and from top to bottom. Reports, summaries and feedback about impact
of decisions flow from bottom to top and decisions, instructions flow from top to
bottom. Information also flows sideways from one manager to another at the same
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managerial level.
Role of a Manager Figure IV presents the flows of information amongst different management Ievels.

Figure IV: Levels of Management & MIS

Ideally a manager would like to collect information on all possible aspects of a


situation before making a decision but that is not always possible due to constraints
of time and money. The costs which act as a constraint on MIS are the costs involved
in data collection, data processing and data access.
Data may be easily available within the organisation but still there is a definite cost
involved in collecting it.
Suppose you want to gather information about the age and educational qualifications
of all the 150 workers in your organisation to determine how many of them would
qualify for the proposed scholarship for the under 35 years matriculate workers. You
may either depute a man to personally go to each employee and note down the data or
you may circulate a small cyclostyled note to the employees asking them to furnish the
relevant data. Anyway you decide to do it, a cost is involved (cost in terms of
mandays of the person collecting the data or the 150 cyclostyled slips of paper).
Having collected all the data, someone will have to sit down and put it in a particular
format (process it) so that it constitutes meaningful information which will serve your
purpose. Again, an element of cost is involved.
Having determined that only 64 workers qualify for the scholarship, the immediate
use of the information is over. You can throw away the remaining information or if
you think you may offer. this scholarship again next year, it would be wiser to store
the information. The peon simply puts all the papers in a file and locks it in the filing
shelf. Next year when you need the information, somebody will have to search for
that particular file and make it available to you (make it accessible). Time is needed
to access the information. Thus every step involves time and money.
With the advent of computers the tasks of processing and storing data have become
easier, and the amount of data that can be processed and stored has increased a
thousand fold. Buying, maintaining and operating a computer also involves cost. The
manager has to determine whether the costs incurred in collecting, processing and
accessing data are commensurate with the improvement it yields to his decision-
making.
Activity B
Make a list of all the daily, weekly, monthly reports which you receive or are
expected to prepare for your boss. Describe how each of these reports help improve
the quality of your decision-making process.
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3.3 MANAGEMENT PROCESSES Management System and Processes

We now turn to the management processes of planning, controlling, organising and


leading. A particular manager may be more concerned with say, controlling and
organising, while another may be more concerned with planning. The degree of
involvement with each of these processes may vary from manager to manager, but
essentially all managers have to be concerned with these processes.
We shall first take up the planning process because only when there is planning can
the other processes follow in logical sequence.

3.4 PLANNING
Planning is the most basic and pervasive process involved in managing. It means
deciding in advance what actions to take and when and how to take them.
Planning is needed, firstly for committing and allocating the organisation's limited
resources towards achieving its objectives in the best possible manner and, secondly
for anticipating the future opportunities and problems.
Planning is putting down in black and white the actions which a manager intends to
take. Each manager is involved in planning though the scope and character may vary
with the level of the manager. At the top, the managing director is involved in
planning for the company's diversification over the next five years. The middle level
marketing manager undertakes planning to increase the sale of his products. The field
sales supervisor plans the day's activities of his team of sales officers.
Planning implies:
i) Making choices: There can be any number of diversification opportunities to
choose from. It is up to the management to choose the alternative which
offers maximum potential for growth and profitability.
ii) Committing resources: The marketing manager who increases the amount
earmarked for television promotion, and adds four more salesmen in each
territory with the objective of achieving higher sales, is committing scarce
resources (money, people, etc.) which then are not available for any other
use.
iii) A time horizon: Planning always refers to a specific time limit within which
it must be completed. The field supervisor plans movements of each of his
salesmen on a daily basis. The marketing manager plans promotion effort for
the next three months, six months or twelve months. The top management
may have a time perspective which may extend anywhere between 5 and 15
years.
Irrespective of the activity or level at which plans may be drawn, the critical, factor is
that they focus on objectives and are directed towards their achievement. They serve
to channelise the energies of the company in the desired direction. The future is
always uncertain and therefore risky. Stepping out of home on a cloudy day with an
umbrella in hand is the way I cover my risk (of getting wet) against the anticipated
but uncertain future rain. It may or may not rain but I am prepared. The umbrella is
representative of the plan which a company draws up in anticipation and preparation
of the future opportunities and problems. Planning implies not simply reacting to
events but anticipating and preparing for them.

Planning ensures the most efficient use of scarce resources. Planning implies
coordinated, inter-related effort towards achievement of the common objective rather
than uncoordinated haphazard, arbitrary, overlapping action towards individual
objectives. Joint, coordinated effort implies pooling of resources and their optimum
allocation without any wastage.

Planning is the only way by which an organisation can exercise control to check that
it is on the desired course of action. Only when there are objectives to work for, and
plans to achieve these objectives, can the manager exercise his control to measure the
performance of his organisation, department or subordinates. An organisation without 37
plans and controls is like a raft marooned on high seas with no maps and
Role of a Manager compass to show the direction and no steering to manoeuvre with. Planning is needed
at every level of management and in every activity and department of the company.
Annual sales targets, cash-flow statements, budgets of each branch, individual career
development blueprint, assembly line operations, scheduling of production over a
number of machines in the factory are examples of plans.
To ensure that a plan is effective and succeeds in achieving its objectives, it must have
the following components:
• Planning must start from the top. Objectives for the entire company are
defined by the top management and then they percolate down throughout the
organisation. Thus, logically, planning too must start at the top. For instance,
one of the objectives of the top management of Beautiful Books Ltd. (a
company specialising in publishing books on Indian culture and history) is to
increase its turnover from Rs.1.15 crore to Rs. 5 crore in 1987-88. The
marketing director accordingly draws up a plan for increasing sale in existing
markets and the new markets to be penetrated. From this overall plan, each
area marketing manager will make his own annual, quarterly and monthly
plans. And in turn each area sales supervisor will draw the plan for his entire
sales team.
• Planning must be flexible. Planning is needed to anticipate and prepare for
the unknown events of the future. To the extent that the future is uncertain
and events may or may not occur, planning must be flexible. Flexibility
implies ability to keep moving towards objectives despite unexpected
occurrences. Flexibility is especially needed when there is high degree of
uncertainty and risk, the lead time involved in implementing the plan is long,
and cost of making mistakes is high. The R & D cell of a television
manufacturing company designed a completely indigenous circuit for black
and white television after 18 months of experimentation and used 100% more
funds than were allocated to it. The success of the circuit is critical to the
company as its entire marketing strategy for the coming 2-3 years is based on
this. If the circuit is successful, the company will be able to establish its
strong position in the market. However, if the circuit shows signs of failure
the company is ready with its plans to airlift the circuits at a day's notice from
its Japanese collaborator. Thus one way to allow for flexibility is by
developing alternate or contingency plans.
• In the short-run, careful detailed planning without allowing for much flexibility
will improve operational efficiency. But undue emphasis on inflexibility or
rigidity may do more harm than good. Every manager has to find his own level
of balance in allowing for flexibility.
• Short-term planning must be integrated with long range planning. The long
range plans, must be broken down into short-term plans on the basis of which
the managers can take action. There can always be a difference of opinion on
what constitutes the long and short-term. Some define five years as the long-
term and anything up to one years as the short-term. In reality the definition
will vary according to the nature and scope of organisational activity for which
planning is being undertaken. However, you may define the long and short-
term, the point to remember is that the short-term plans must be derived from,
and contribute to the long-term plans.
• Plans are good only if they are properly implemented by the people down the
line. An effective way to ensure this is to involve the people responsible for
implementation in the entire process of planning.
However, despite all the above precautions, plans sometimes fail because of
environmental and internal limitations. Government policies, regulations,
laws, statutory obligations, and rapid social and technological changes pose
external limitations on the company's planning effort. Within the company,
cumbersome procedures, capital inflexibilities in terms of investments
already made, inadequate or inaccurate information are the possible barriers
38 which a company may face.
Activity C Management System and Processes

List the various activities for which your organisation undertakes the formal planning
process. Evaluate these plans on the basis of what you have learnt about planning.
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3.5 CONTROLLING
Planning and controlling go hand in hand. There can be no control without a plan and
plans cannot be successfully implemented in the absence of controls. Controls
provide a means of checking the progress of the plans and correcting any deviations
that may occur along the way.

As each worker enters the factory premises in the morning, his time of arrival is
electronically (or manually) punched on his card and every evening his departure
time is similarly recorded. This simple control process is effective in checking the
time spent by each worker in the factory and at the end of the month for calculating
his wages and overtime. The mere act of recording makes each worker conscious of
his late arrival and acts as a self-check on his timing. In contrast to this simple
control, the annual budget for the subsidiary of a multi-location company requires a
far more sophisticated process for controlling its many diverse activities.

The type of control required will vary according to the factors that are to be
controlled, and the critical importance of the factors to the organisation's success. The
more critical the factor the more complex is the control mechanisms needed to check
its progress. Finance is a very critical area of management and most companies
devise elaborate and sophisticated financial controls.

A control is meaningful only when there is clear cut responsibility for activities and
results. It is meaningless to have a control process which simply points out deviations
but cannot pinpoint the area in which they occurred and who is responsible for taking
the corrective measures.

Controls maybe used to measure physical quantities (such as volume of output,


number of man hours, number of units of raw material consumed per machine, etc.),
monetary results (value of sale, capital expenditure, return on investment, earnings
per share, etc.) or to evaluate intangibles such as employee loyalty, morale, and 39
commitment to work. Obviously; the third kind of controls are the most difficult to
Role of a Manager design and implement: No quantitative measure can be used, but only a qualitative,
descriptive evaluation is possible.
There are three basic steps involved in designing a control process.
i) Establishment of standards: Controls are established on the basis of plans
and so the first step. is to have clear plans which in turn become the standards for
controlling. The sales forecast plan which sets sales targets itself becomes the
standard against which actual sale is measured. However, an effective control
process focusses only on the critical variables rather than controlling all the .
variables. It also indicates the permissible range of deviation from the expected
target. Only when the actual performance, is outside this range, does it become a
. matter of concern for the manager to find out why this has happened and take
corrective action. Similarly, the marketing manager at the head office is
interested in the sales figures achieved by each branch and not in the
performance of individual salesman.
ii) Measurement of performance: Having set standards it is necessary to devise a
system for measuring the performance of individuals, departments or the
company against these standards. In some cases quantitative goals can be set,
such as number of units to be sold by each salesman, number of units to be
produced per machine, or the profit to be generated by each branch office.
However, evaluating performance in case of managers at the top level or those
operating in areas such as personnel, public relations, and administration is far
more difficult. The work output cannot be translated into quantifiable terms.
Only a qualitative appraisal is possible.
iii) Correcting deviations: The ultimate objective of the control process is to
pinpoint the occurrence outside the permissible range of action to allow
management to take corrective action. The maximum number of rejects per
machine per day is fixed. When the number of rejects increases beyond this
acceptable level, it is time for the production supervisor to investigate and take
suitable steps to correct the situation.
The successful control process hinges on the all important concept of feedback. This
refers to the information on the critical control variable of the operation or activity
which when fed back to the manager triggers off corrective action.
Except in a self-regulated, closed mechanical system where the corrective action is
taken instantaneously and automatically, most activities within an organisation
require human intervention.. The finance manager must find out why profits have
'fallen below the established level and take suitable steps to remedy this. In some
ases, only a minor corrective action is needed. But sometimes the situation requires
drastic action, even scrapping a department or plant whose operation has become
totally unprofitable.
Within the organisation, feedback usually implies a lag between the time when the
event actually occurs and the time by which information about the event reaches the
concerned manager. Sales figures for the preceding month may not be available to
the manager before the 7th of the current month. The manager can only take note of
what happened in the past and take measures to prevent its occurrence in the future.
Too long a time lag prevents any meaningful control or corrective action. To
overcome this problem of time lag, most companies generate daily reports of critical
variables which provide early warning signals to the manager. But even daily reports
may reach two days later when they have to travel a long distance from say Jaipur to
Delhi. With the introduction of computers and real time information systems
(instantaneous transmission of information) this problem can largely be overcome.
All control processes should reflect the plans that they are supposed to follow.
However, to be truly effective the controls must highlight the critical variables in an
objective manner, and be worth their cost in installing and operating.
Budget is a traditional and widely used control process. Apart from this a company
may use historical statistical data, or break-even analysis to control its operations. By
the use of mathematics, many sophisticated control techniques are also possible.
These pertain to implementing control for inventory management, distribution
logistics and project or programme management. Some of these such as Programme
Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT), Critical Path Method (CPM) will be
40 dealt with in detail in the subsequent units.
Activity D Management System and Processes
What are the various control processes used in your organisation, and specifically in
your department? Assess the effectiveness of these controls from the viewpoint of
their ability to measure performance and highlight critical deviations.
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3.6 ORGANISING
Organising refers to the formal grouping of people and activities to facilitate
achievement of the firm's objectives. Issues for discussion here are the types of
organisation structure, degree of centralisation, levels of management, span of
control, delegation of authority, unity of command, line and staff relationship, and
staffing.
Structure refers to the specific manner in which people are grouped. An organisation
can group its people on the basis of the various functions (such as production,
personnel, finance, marketing), geographical territories or around specific products or
product lines (such as detergents, toiletries, basic chemicals, agro-products, as in case
of Hindustan Lever Limited). The concept of matrix organisation is a recent
evolution and combines the functional and product organisation. This type of
organisation is especially useful in case of projects which require both specialists as
well as functional experts to execute a project within a specified time frame. Another
type of organisation is by the type of customers served. A company manufacturing
and marketing computers has organised its sales department in two groups. One
group sells to institutions such as offices, banks, schools, colleges, etc., while the
other group sells to individuals. Many companies selling office equipment have
organised separate marketing teams to cater to the private sector and the public sector
because of the different cultures prevailing in them.
Centralisation refers to the point or level where all decision-making authority is
concentrated. One-man enterprises; such as a small bread and butter stores, vegetable
vendor, a self-employed car mechanic, are examples of complete centralisation. As
the enterprise grows, it becomes increasingly difficult for one person to manage alone
and he has to necessarily line up other. people and give them authority to make some
decisions. These decisions may be routine, programmable decisions but complete
centralisation is no longer possible. The decision-making authority is now vested in
more than one individual. This is decentralisation.
You require information to make a decision. It is possible that information may be
generated at one place but the decision is taken at another. A Bombay based
multinational involved in making and selling ball bearings has its manufacturing
facility at Pun. Every evening all information regarding the day's production,
machine down time, inventory position is sent to the head office via the linked
computer facility and all decisions regarding change in production scheduling are
made at the head office. The introduction of real time information with the help of
computers enables information generated at one place to be instantaneously
transmitted thousands of miles away for making a decision. However, the real
criterion for an organisation having a centralised or decentralised structure is a
reflection of the top Management's thinking and philosophy. 41
Role of a Manager Closely related to the concept of centralisation are the concepts of levels of
management and span of control. Levels of management refers to the number of
hierarchical levels under the control of a particular manager. Machine operator,
foreman, floor manager and production manager represent the levels of management
in a typical production department under the director. The machine operators report
to the foreman, the foreman reports to the floor manager who in turn reports to the
production manager who is accountable to the director. The number of machine
operators who directly report to the foreman represents his span of control. There is a
great deal of controversy regarding the ideal number of people that a manager can
effectively control or the ideal span of control. Many management thinkers are of the
view that three to seven is the ideal range. In practice, this may actually vary from
one individual manager to another.

At each level of management, there is a reporting relationship between the manager


and the workers. The fewer the number of people that a worker has to report to, the less
will be the problem of conflict in instructions, and greater the feeling of
responsibility for results. Similarly, the clearer the line of authority from the manager
to the workers, the better the decision-making and communication.

The staff functionary reports directly to the top management and is not a part of the
chain of command.

A company may draw up any number of ambitious plans, but if it does not have the
right kind of people, it can never succeed in implementing these plans. One of the
biggest challenges which a manager faces is matching the right people with the right
jobs. The process of staffing starts with defining the job to be done and the necessary
qualifications, skills and experience required to do it. The next step is to search for
the persons with the desired background. The search may involve a number of
complex steps such as advertising the job through newspapers and specialised
magazines, screening the applications received in response to the advertisement,
conducting a selection process which may include a variety of techniques such as
written test, group discussion, personal interview, etc. Before making the final
selection, it is important to be sure that the candidate fits in well with the other people
and the culture of the organisation.

Having found the right candidate, it is equally important that you are able to retain
him. Among other things, motivation and leadership provided by the top management
of organisation also plays an important role.

Activity E

What is the basis for organising the various departments in your company?

Can you identify the various levels of management and the span of control at each
level as well as the reporting relationships?
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3 .7 MOTIVATING AND LEADING Management System and Processes

Having established plans, controls, and an appropriate structure to achieve the


organisational objectives, the manager now has to get his people to work. Motivation
is that desire or feeling within an individual which prompts him to action. Every
individual has needs, desires and drives, which we collectively call motives and
which channelise all his or her behaviour and action towards achievement of some
objectives. The manager's role is to influence each individual's behaviour and action
towards achievement of common organisational objectives.
A great deal of research has been conducted in this area and there are many theories
of motivation. It is not possible to explain all these theories here and we shall only
briefly explain the various factors that can act as motivation.
Money is the most commonly used motivating factor in the form of salary, bonus,
incentives, commissions and rewards. Salary or wage is of course the primary
motivation, and the poorer the economic background of an individual the greater the
motivational value of money. However, once a basic salary or wage is assured, to
motivate people to work that little bit extra, achieve that ten per cent higher sales
figure, incentives and commissions come in handy. Most sales organisations pay
salary plus incentives to their sales people. The incentives may be calculated on the
basis of individual or team results, and may be linked to a sales target. Similar
incentives can be offered to the production department. However, performance linked
rewards are difficult to compute in areas such as finance, personnel, and
administration where work output cannot be easily measured. A percentage of total
profits can be distributed to these departments as incentive.
Man does not live by bread alone is an old saying. Man is a social animal and seeks
recognition and status in society through his work. The status or position which an
individual enjoys in the organisation, the number of people who work for him, the
non-monetary benefits and perks which he enjoys are important motivational factors.
In fact sometimes these are more important than the actual take-home pay packet.
Gupta started his career as a salesman in a medium sized company manufacturing
and marketing stereo systems. Because of his analytical ability, capacity to work hard
and achieve results, Gupta soon rose to be the area sales manager of North India. The
owner of the company relied a great deal on Gupta's judgement and always consulted
him on every important matter. Gupta was making good money, performing well and
enjoyed the great confidence of the owner, yet he felt that there was no power or
position in his job which could give him a better status in society. Therefore, when
the opportunity arose, Gupta joined an American multinational as Divisional
Manager, selling scientific laboratory glassware. It was the glamour, the power, and
the status which the job conferred on him that motivated Gupta to join. However, two
years with the multinational were enough for Gupta to realise that he had no authority
to take any independent decisions and he was not deriving any satisfaction from his
job. Gupta quit his job and went hack to his previous employer. Thus satisfaction at
work is an important motivating factor.
The lesson from Gupta's story is that the same individual will be motivated by
different factors at different stages of his career. Generally as you move up the
organisation to more important positions, the importance of money and monetary
benefits as motivating factors decreases and intangible factors such as job
satisfaction, confidence of the boss, good relationship with the boss, the status and
respect commanded in the organisation, etc. become more important.
The physical working environment in which a person works also has tremendous
motivational force. A pleasant, noise-free, well-lit room with comfortable
temperature, and proper facilities of telecommunication, secretarial assistance,
canteen, transport, etc. is always conducive to work.
Different individuals are motivated by different factors. This is because each
individual in the organisation comes from a different socio-economic, cultural,
religious, educational and family background, and each of these has a role in 43
determining the degree to which he can be motivated by different factors.
Role of a Manager In most Western countries, a great deal of emphasis is laid on leisure and individuals
may be motivated to take up that job which affords greatest opportunity for leisure.
Similarly religious background and personal values are important influences on the
effectiveness of motivating factors. No matter how attractive the salary, not many
Hindus would like to work in a beef packing factory.
The manager's concern is to find a set of common factors which can motivate all his
people coming from diverse and different backgrounds and working at different
levels of management. The manager's task will be greatly simplified when he
understands that motivational factors are present in, and can be used, in design of
work, rewards, work environment, work relationships and work content. All
monetary benefits and non-monetary advantages such as free medical cover,
company car and driver, club membership, etc. are part of the work reward and are
important motivators.
Work environment as a motivating factor, first and foremost, refers to the status of
the organisation for which a person works and the mere fact of his working in that
organisation gives him that status. Harvard University has the reputation of being
amongst the best in the world and anyone who has graduated from Harvard is
generally perceived to be at least above average, is not excellent. The actual physical
factors present in the work environment also act as motivators.
Relationships developed at work, with the boss, colleagues and subordinates have an
important motivating influence. The more congenial, friendly and supportive are
these relationships, the greater their positive motivational value. In contrast, strained
relationships which create tension and unhappiness are serious enough reasons for
people to leave jobs which in all other respects seem very comfortable and attractive.
The design and content of the actual work to be done is in itself an important
motivational factor. An element of freedom to experiment with new ideas within the
parameters of the job fulfils the creative urge in every individual. Freedom to take
decisions and assume responsibility for the results are factors which enhance an
individual's self-confidence and feeling of self-esteem. The more such factors can be
built into the job, the greater would be the job satisfaction of the individual
performing the job. A happy, satisfied worker is a productive worker and a great
asset to any organisation. If an individual is himself associated with designing the
content and objectives of his job, there are greater chances. that he will work his
utmost to fulfil these objectives. This is the approach known as Management by
Objectives (MBO) and has tremendous motivational potential.
The manager has not only to motivate his people but also provide them with
leadership. To that extent every manager is a leader. A manager has to inspire and
influence his people to willingly work towards achieving the organisational
objectives.
Much research has been conducted in this field and different studies have emphasised
different aspects in attempting to answer the question `What makes an effective
leader'? When put in a situation of leading, you must remember it is a role that your are
performing, but that your personality has an important influence on your performance
as does the situation in which you are expected to perform.
To be an effective leader, a manager must have a pleasing physical personality,
ability to get along with people, qualities of honesty and integrity and be an excellent
speaker. To command respect of others he must excel at his basic job whether it is
operating a lathe machine or managing the finances of a large company. The leader
must first set an example by his own actions rather than by just making speeches. His
actions must communicate to the people that he belongs to them. Only when he is
able to generate this feeling of oneness will he be able to inspire confidence in his
people.
Secondly, a manager-must remember that he is only playing a role. However, to be
able to perform effectively, the role demands that the manager be perfectly objective in
all his judgements and decisions, and be guided only by the organisational objectives
and have no other considerations. For a leader the interests of his people are of
44 paramount importance and come first while personal benefits, take second place.
Thirdly, the role must be moulded according to the unique situation in which the Management System and Processes
manager is placed. In our society, great emphasis is laid on personal relationships and
contacts and managers are perceived to be father figures and are expected to have a
paternalistic attitude towards their workers. In contrast, in the West, especially in
countries with a British colonial past, the relationships between manager and worker
is only confined to the work. There, if a manager were to adopt a paternalistic
approach, he would be totally ineffective. A manager who usually follows a
consultative, participative approach, seeking the opinions and consensus of his
subordinates before implementing any decision, in a crisis situation may adopt a very
authoritarian approach and effectively manage the situation.

When Lee Iaccoca, took over the management of Chrysler Corporation, USA, it was
an ailing automobile giant. To bring it out of the loss making situation, Iaccoca inspired
tremendous confidence and loyalty in his workers by setting personal example of
great hard work and accepting only a token wage. Under his leadership the company
was soon able to turn its losses into profits.

Political leaders such as Gandhi who commanded the respect of millions of people
are a model for managers to learn from. Gandhi's leadership style was so finely
turned to the moods of the people and the situation that his every word was law for
the common man. His actions and life-style made the people feel he belonged to
them.

Activity F

How do you evaluate your boss as a leader on account of his personality, role play,
and tuning to the requirements of the situation?

Briefly describe a situation in which you excelled as a leader. What do you think
were the contributing factors to this performance?
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3.8 DECISION MAKING


Underlying the processes of planning, controlling, organising, leading and motivating
is the all important process of decision-making. Every manager makes decisions, no
matter what his area of management responsibility may be.

Decision-making implies making a choice between alternatives. The choice is made


rationally after due consideration of all the pros and cons. The rational approach
implies that it is a carefully thought out, deliberate and well-weighed choice, guided
only by the consideration of the organisational objectives to be achieved.

In making a decision, the manager first of all define the issue on which the decision
needs to be made. Then he should generate all the possible alternatives available to
tackle the issue at hand. The third step involves a careful evaluation of each
alternative to choose that which offers the best chance of achieving the objectives. 45
Role of a Manager Making a choice is making the decision. Follow up of the decision to ensure that it is
properly carried out is very important. A decision which does not get implemented
remains a decision only on paper and not in reality. The final step is to gather
feedback on the impact generated by the decision.

Decision-making is so important because it implies. commitment of resources, the


desired outcome of which is never certain. Decisions are made under conditions of
uncertainty and risk. Decisions made today have implications reaching into the
future. The risk arises out of the fact that the manager never has complete facts and
knowledge about the implications of his decision and there is always the chance that
the wrong decision maybe taken.

Many mathematical tools and theories have been developed to improve the
quality of decisions which managers have to make under risky and uncertain
conditions. Linear programming, queuing theory, probability and game
theory, risk analysis, and decision trees are some of these tools. These will be
discussed at length at a later stage.

Activity G

Think of any decision which you may have made in the recent past. Write down the
various alternatives which you considered, and the manner in which you evaluated
them to arrive at the best choice.
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3.9 SUMMARY
In this unit we introduced the systems concept. This is a useful concept for
understanding the operations of a firm by identifying the critical sub-systems, their
inter-linkages and inter-dependence in the achievement of a common goal or sets of
goals. There can be a number of sub-systems within the system of a firm and the
most important of these is the Management Information System. The objective of a
MIS is to improve the quality of decision-making by providing the relevant
information at the right time. The starting point for designing an effective MIS is
spelling out the objectives of the MIS, understanding the various kinds of decisions to
be made at each level and the nature of information flows.

The basic processes common to every management situation are those of planning,
controlling, organising, motivating and leading, and decision-making. Planning helps
the manager allocate his scarce resources in the most efficient manner to achieve the
organisational objectives. Controlling is the process by which the manager checks the
implementation of his plans against certain pre-determined measures of performance.
Organising refers to the formal grouping of people and activities for doing work.
Leading and motivating are the behavioural aspects of the manager's role. The
manager is expected to provide leadership by way of personal example and inspire
confidence, and bring into play all those factors by which he can persuade, convince
and motivate his subordinates to turn in their best performance. Pervading all these
46 management processes is the process of decision-making. Every
manager has to make decisions. Decision-making implies making a choice, and Management System and Processes
because there is never complete information and certainty, there is always a risk that
the choice made may be wrong. It is the task of the manager to minimise this risk.

3.10 KEY WORDS


Break-even Analysis: Comparison between sales and expenses to determine that
volume of production where there is no profit and no loss.

Budget: Statement of plans expressed in quantitative and financial terms for the
allocation and use of resources.

Environment: The universe in which the firm operates is known as its environment
and includes all those economic, political, socio-cultural, legal, demographic and
other factors which have a critical bearing on its operations.

Organisation, Firm or Company: These terms have been used interchangeably and
refer to all types of formal bodies created for a specific purpose. These include all
types of business organisations and non-commercial organisations such as hospitals,
schools, charitable trusts, voluntary bodies, etc.

Organisational Objective(s): The specific purposes, results and achievements


sought by the organisation. In this lesson we have used this term in a broad sense to
include both mission and objectives.

3.11 FURTHER READINGS


Schein, Edgar, H., 1973. Organisational Psychology, Prentice Hall of India: New
Delhi.

Hersey, Paul and Kenneth H., Blanchard, 1980. Management of Organisational


Behaviour: Utilizing Human Resources, Prentice Hall of India: New Delhi.

Kanter, Jerome, 1984. Management-Oriented Management Information Systems,


Prentice Hall Incorporated: Englewood-Cliffs.

Koontz, Harold and Cyril O'Donnell, 1976. Management: A System and Contingency
Analysis of Managerial Functions, McGraw-Hill Kogakusha: Tokyo.

Newman, William H. Summer, Charles E. and Warren, E. Kirby, 1974. . T h e


Process of Management Concepts, Behaviour and Practice, Prentice Hall of
India: New Delhi.

Richards, Max D. and William A. Nielander, (ed.), 1967. Readings in Management,


D.B. Taraporevala Sons and Company: Bombay.

47